For the first time in nearly 30 years of federal oversight, DCF has sufficiently lowered caseloads for social workers serving vulnerable children and families.
Vanessa Dorantes joined the Department of Children and Families nearly 27 years ago, one of the scores of social workers hired to bolster an understaffed DCF at the insistence of a federal court monitor. On Monday, she was nominated to lead that agency, which remains under the consent order that led to her hiring in 1992.
Connecticut received Monday what is likely to be a federal overseer’s final assessment of the progress made by the Department of Children and Families during the tenure of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Commissioner Joette Katz, saying the state is closer than ever to ending nearly three decades of federal supervision. But not before the next governor takes office.
A pregnant teen died late Thursday night in an apparent suicide at the state’s psychiatric hospital for children, officials at the Department of Children and Families reported Friday.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vetoed a measure Wednesday that would have created a new, legislature-controlled, oversight council for the Department of Children and Families, calling it “a significant intrusion by the legislative branch” in executive authority.
The Department of Children and Families will be hiring 120 social workers to comply with an updated consent decree in the long-running Juan F. case, and the Malloy administration already has warned legislators it will need to spend $10 million more on the agency than is budgeted, the state’s top budget official said Thursday.
A federal judge Wednesday ordered Connecticut to commit to certain staffing and caseload levels at the Department of Children and Families as a step toward ending the court’s quarter-century oversight of the agency under a consent decree. Unlike an exit plan rejected in February by the legislature, it does not shield the DCF from budget cuts.
Critics of the Department of Children and Families are using the bipartisan budget deal to strip the agency of responsibility for its detention facility, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, and give it to the state court system. It’s an implicit rebuke of the DCF’s management of the facility.
With a little more than two weeks remaining until the session’s June 7 adjournment deadline, dozens of bills unrelated to the state’s budget are certain to be voted upon. Legislative leaders say campaign finance reform and a minimum wage increase are among the contentious issues that could come up in the session’s final days.
After moving closer to compliance with its court supervision exit plan in the first quarter of 2016, the state Department of Children and Families was unable to make additional progress in the second and third quarters of 2016, a federal court monitor reported Tuesday. The court monitor put much of the blame for DCF’s continued failure to meet certain compliance standards on the state government.
Doctors determined that an infant placed by the Department of Children and Families with relatives had been malnourished for months, had weeks-old breaks in bones in both arms, a brain bleed and numerous other injuries. A state watchdog report released Tuesday called the case an “utter collapse of all safeguards,” while DCF says it was an outlier.
MIDDLETOWN — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivered a vote of confidence Tuesday to Joette Katz, his only commissioner of children and families. Five days after the suspension of two DCF workers, Malloy joined Katz to celebrate a record in placing at-risk children with family members, instead of foster homes.
The state Department of Children and Families has “made and sustained progress” toward improving the state’s child welfare system, a federal court monitor reported Monday. The monitor released his “best findings ever” in two key areas – case planning and meeting children’s basic needs.
Dozens of people gathered outside Connecticut Juvenile Training School Thursday to protest state layoffs that cut about one-third of the facility’s staff last weekend, creating what one union official called a “potentially life-threatening situation” for those still remaining.
Updated Feb. 5 at 4:10 p.m.
The Department of Children and Families faced intense scrutiny from state legislators Thursday morning for not identifying a number of high-risk child abuse cases, and several top officials acknowledged the department’s shortcomings and described steps that have been taken to improve.